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Incorporate Massage Blog

2 min read

Chair Massage: To Tip or Not to Tip?

Feb 26, 2015 8:30:00 AM

When a massage therapist comes into your workplace with some magic stress-relieving hands, and they cure what ails you, you probably feel like you want to repay them for that service somehow. But is tipping appropriate in a corporate setting? Is tipping an expectation when corporate massage services are rendered? This can be a very sticky and uncomfortable situation for corporate massage clients, so I wanted to get this subject out in the open.

Chair massage tip

Chair Massage and Tipping

The appropriateness and expectation of tipping varies on the environment the massage is given in. Chair massages are now common in everything from spas to airports to at your desk, so let's look at some common examples.


Seated Massage and Tipping at the Spa

In the spa industry, when a chair or table massage is given, a tip is typically expected. Many times massage therapists are paid a lower wage than in other settings because tips are generally expected. The front desk will often times ask you if you would like to add a tip when you go to check out. The proper amount to tip in this situation is 15-20%. This is typical for  spas, nail and hair salons, and anywhere else in the beauty industry that might provide chair massages.


Chair Massage and Tipping at the Chiropractor

Most chiropractors are living in the now and have jumped on board the massage bandwagon. The benefits of massage for structural issues, postural correction and injury recovery are so apparent and backed by research that chiropractors can't ignore the facts. But, this is one industry where it is NOT typical to tip. Tipping is not expected and most chiropractors are billing insurance for the massages, so their compensation comes from those claims.


Corporate Massage and Tipping at Your Office

Now that I've confused you, what should you do when your favorite massage therapist comes into your office? Sometimes we get organizations that choose to put a tip on their card with the fee for the services. And sometimes individuals receiving the massages choose to drop a $5 bill to their therapist. But is this something you should be expected to do, or not? The answer is, NOT. Tipping in a corporate massage setting is NOT EXPECTED and is actually very uncommon. 


In fact, here at Incorporate Massage we actually advise against it when asked. Not because we don't love our therapists and think they deserve it, quite the opposite. Our therapists are paid a higher wage since tipping is uncommon in this particular area of the massage industry. And, more importantly, our services are all about relieving the stress for the employers and their staff receiving the massages. We know what kind of stress it causes people not knowing whether to tip or not, how much they should tip, if they remembered cash or not, and worrying they've offended their massage therapist. So our policy is- NO TIPPING. And that's just how we roll.

corporate chair massage quote

Amelia Wilcox
Written by Amelia Wilcox

Part massage therapist, part entrepreneur, Amelia first experienced the benefits of massage therapy as a child suffering from headaches. Massage helped, and now she’s returning the favor to her clients every day. A 2002 graduate of UCMT, you can find her running, baking, exploring with her husband, or singing her guilty pleasure, “Reflections” from Disney’s Mulan when she’s not hard at work.